KOTA KINABALU: The proposal by Abang Johari, the Chief Minister of Sarawak to increase the Parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak to 1/3 ratio to the total number of seats in Parliament is in line with the principles agreed in the Malaysia  Agreement 1963.

In a statement by Datuk James Ligunjang, former Petagas State Assemblyman, he said the purpose of 1/3 ratio of parliamentary seats to Sabah  Sarawak and Singapore in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 was to ensure that no Parliamentary Bill’s affecting those states can be passed without the concurrence of the State Governments.

The departure of Singapore in August 1965 had caused Sabah and Sarawak to lose the 1/3 ratio and as a consequence imperiled the safety net to safeguard the rights of Sabah and Sarawak, he said.

To ensure that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak are protected in the Federal Constitution, it is of paramount importance to restore the 1/3 ratio of parliamentary seats to Sabah and Sarawak, he added.

“To ensure that no Parliamentary Bill’s affecting both States can be passed without the concurrence of both States, it is recommended that Sabah and Sarawak establish a Parliamentary Caucus in Parliament,” he said.

The purpose of a Parliamentary Caucus in Parliament is to ensure that parliamentarians from Sabah and Sarawak are fully briefed as to the importance and ramifications of each Parliamentary Bill proposed in Parliament, according to him.

“The State Government of Sabah should fully support the proposal made by Abang Johari to prevent further erosion of our state rights,”he said-pr/BNN